The U.S. Navy is quietly building a big, secretive special operations 'mothership'

Not exactly secret now is it?

From land bases to sea bases the expansion continues unabated in a time of serious financial stress.

PAY YOUR F***ing!!! DEBTS!!!!!

Cragside will be rigged so it can function as a floating base for up to 200 troops, their weapons, and more. (Manuel Hernández Lafuente/

Will commandos get jet skis? Oh yes.

The Week
By David Axe
26 June 2014

The U.S. Navy is quietly converting a 633-foot-long cargo ship into a secretive helicopter carrier with facilities for supporting a large contingent of Special Operations forces and all their gear, including jet skis.

Yes, jet skis.

And here's the really weird thing: almost nobody is talking about the new "mothership" vessel, even though it could significantly expand America's at-sea commando footprint.

In November, Military Sealift Command — America's quasi-civilian fleet of more than 100 specialized but lightly armed vessels — awarded an initial $73-million contract to shipping giant Maersk to convert one of its cargo ships to a so-called "Maritime Support Vessel" standard.

Maersk tapped the 30,000-ton displacement M/V Cragside, built in 2011. After enduring a legal protest by rival Crowley, in January Maersk sent Cragside to the Gulf of Mexico for military modifications, most likely at the BAE shipyard upriver in Alabama.

The contract, extendable for up to four years, could be worth up to $143 million. The militarized Cragside could deploy as early as November this year.

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